New Contract in Hand, Smith Aims for More Improvement at High-Speed Atlanta Track

DENVER, Colo. (Sept. 1, 2010) -- With a new contract in his back pocket, NASCAR driver Regan Smith heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday night's Emory Healthcare 500 Sprint Cup race.

The 26-year-old Smith recently signed a two-year contract extension with Furniture Row Racing as the driver of the team's No. 78 Chevrolet.

"No doubt it's a great feeling to receive a vote of confidence," said Smith. "As I have said many times, we're a team on the move, and I am happy to be part of the program. All of the guys are excited about the commitment made by Furniture Row Racing, and we only see good things happening in the future."

The first stop for Smith since signing the new contract will be at the high-speed 1.54-mile oval of Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he posted a 14th-place finish in March. It was a respectable result despite Smith's lack of experience at the aerodynamically-sensitive track. He stated before the race that he needed more time on the Atlanta track to develop a better feel for the quad-oval.

"We were all pleased with the 14th-place finish at Atlanta earlier in the year, but to be honest the Atlanta track is still a work in progress for me," noted Smith, the 2008 Raybestos Sprint Cup rookie of the year. "Each time I race there I not only gain experience, but also more confidence. It was a big morale boost to come away with a top-15 finish.

"The mile-in-a-half tracks have been one of our strong suits this season. We need to keep it going in Atlanta and hopefully better the 14th-place finish we had in March."

In his previous two career Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway Smith finished 38th and 31st -- both coming in the 2008 season.